Whenever a new Noystoise creation comes out I usually post about it. They are just so beautifully hand crafted. The latest NT02 would be nice in a live set up. It is available now for $260 USD.
“The NT02 consists of a square wave VCO with chorus/delay, a white noise generator, a ramp LFO, and individual 12db resonant lowpass filters for the VCO and white noise generator. the pitch of the VCO is controlled by one axis of the VCO joystick, while the other axis controls the delay time of the chorus. the chorus circuit is basically just your typical PT2399 delay chip setup, except there is no feedback loop. the VCO is fed to the delay chip, and the delayed signal is recombined with the initial signal before the filter stage. the effect makes the VCO sound much bigger and warmer with the chorusing effect. almost like an old analog poly-synth with detuned VCOs. the white noise generator is your basic two transistor type found in many old synth designs.” – Noystoise
LEGO, Robots and a Depeche Mode song. Obviously I love this. It amazes me all the work that went into recreating Everything Counts in such a way. I hope someone in NYC books the Toa Mata Band band because I would love to see it in person.
“Toa Mata Band is known as the World’s first LEGO robotic band controlled by Arduino Uno which is hooked up to a MIDI sequencer. In this video, the third episode, the robots are playing some unconventional drum-percussions made by some food packaging are captured by a contact microphone (piezo) and processed in real time in the D.A.W. Ableton Live. A brand new device appears for the first time, it’s a moving platform on x-axis, made of Lego bricks, gears and servo motors that permits to move with semitones-steps the tiny synth. The song is a cover of the famous synth-pop band Depeche Mode, it’s a personal tribute to the band who made my days in the 80′s. The performance was recorded live in July 2014.” – Opificio Sonico
Mike Walters makes some crazy unique synth toys under the name Mystery Circuits. The Zenotron is his newest and my opinion his greatest creation.
“The case was made from an old modem, the monitor was a small filmstrip viewer I cut in half. Behind the translucent screen is a cut down pipette box. I installed 88 LEDs where the pipettes normally go (perfect fit). The miniature keyboard comes off of an old toy, and I rebuilt the key contacts from little surface mount tactile switches. The sounds on the Zenotron come from a modified BleepLabs Nebulophone kit. A 2-Axis Parallax joystick controls the waveform and arpeggio rate of the Nebulophone. There are only 10 notes on the Nebulophone circuit, so the A# and B of the keyboard are wired parallel to the C and C#. Audio from the Nebulophone is fed to the clock input of a 4017 decade counter, which varies the sequence speed according to the Nebulophone’s audio. Each step turns on two transistors that light an array of 4 to 5 green LEDs. All of the LEDs are wired randomly, though I tried to make sure the spread around the pipette box was even. The LEDs are wired to a DB25 connector inside the Zenotron. For the volume pot, I just replaced the feedback resistor in the last opamp stage of the Nebulophone’s output. The LFO pot is wired the same as on the Nebulophone, but it has an off switch when turned all the way down. If the switch is off, the LFO seems to change according to the joystick. The LFO controls the Nebulophone’s filter, which uses an optocoupler. The color scheme was very much subconsciously inspired by the Kaypro II and the Commodore SX-64.” – mysterycircuits.com
Here is more madness from Gieskes. You could say the Voicerec1b is sort of a toy Phonogene? Ok well maybe not but someone out there is collecting all of Gieskes work for what will be an interesting live performance I am certain.
“On the start of a recording there is a beep sound.” – gieskes.nl
Take a look at Tanner Galvin’s Noys Toise circuit bent musical instruments. Very pretty and the documentary above shows a guy into what he’s doing.
“Tanner Galvin’s Noys Toise is a short documentary about Tanner Galvin, a Portland artist who creates custom musical instruments out of old electronic toys and instruments in a process known as circuit bending.” – Laughing Squid
On my recent trip to San Francisco I went by the synth shop Robotspeak. They have some cool stuff inside. New synths like the Minitaur and old cool items like Opcode Studio Vision Pro on display. They also have a modular workshop where you learn how to build your own modular. Tom Oberheim lives nearby and as you can see by the photo Bob Moog visited the store. The only thing in the store I wanted to buy wasn’t for sale. It was a circuit Vtech Tiny Tot Driver. Just see the video above to know what I am talking about. When he hit the horn I started offering money. Before I returned to NY I went by my brother’s studio space and showed him (he’s in the video above) and his friend Chris how cool the Doepfer Dark time is. You can see all the photos from my trip on flickr: click here.
“Once a Month, learn how to build Modules for you Modular synth setup. This is an ongoing workshop series that will feature different synth designers and focus on different components each month.” – robotspeak.com
A few weeks ago I purchased a Hard Soft Synth 3i or HSS3i from Bleep Labs. It’s a creation of a Dutch man know as Gieskes. The unit creates analog video and audio. As you can hear in the recording I made above it’s quite interesting. You will know instantly if your the type of person who will like this thing. It’s very THX1138. For some more photos of what you get: click here. Expect to see some of the video output from the HSS3i in my live shows.
“The Hard Soft Synth 3i is an indescribable audio / video generator by noisemaker extraordinaire, Gieskes.” – Bleep Labs
I think a lot of this Circuit Bending business is just an excuse some adults are using to allow them to keep playing with kiddie toys. It’s a good excuse! This Chinese Animal Apple was bent by Freeform Delusion. You can buy some of their bent stuff on ebay: click here
“English & Chinese Speaking Animals Apple. Switched mono mini jack output. Rainbow LED. On/Off Toggle Switch. Pitch Up/Down Control.” – eecouk
If your in Chicago on June 4 be sure to go to the 4th Annual Experimental Garage Sale. I think it’s a good chance to pick up a unique “musical” instrument and talk with some top benders. Head to the official Facebook Event page to see a list of sellers: link
“12 sellers who will have plenty circuit bent devices, un-bent toys, electronic parts, kits, experimental instruments, contact microphones, guitar pedals, art, and more. The sale will begin rain or shine at 12:00 PM and last until 6:00 PM.” – getlofi.com
Perth Australian band The Gizzards get on television rocking a NES Guitar and other bent toys. Their facebook page stats the bands influences are, “Sheds, pools, cats and casios.”. I was wondering if they would make a worthy blog post then I saw his cape: posted!
“The Gizzards performed on WTV’s FNL (Friday Night Live) show.” – ohmissjane